Archive for the Hinduism Category

Happy Divali – Happy New Year

Posted in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2013 by designldg

Happy Divali2

Divali, or Deepavali (in Hindi – दिवाली or दीपावली), is a major Indian festival, significant in Hinduism , Jainism and Sikhism.
Celebrated by Hindus,Jains and Sikhs across the globe, as the “Festival of Light,” where the lights or lamps signify the uplighting of darkness and victory of good over the evil within.

The celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional dīpa or deeya (earthen lamp), and fireworks. Though colloquially called Divali in North India, in South India it is called Deepavali.
Divali is celebrated for five consecutive days at the end of Hindu month of Ashwayuja (amanta).
It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India.
Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships.
For Hindus it is one of the most important festivals, and beginning of the year in some Hindu calendars, especially in North India.

This image was shot in Sarnath in front of Lord Buddha’s tree (which was grown from a cutting of the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya) where he met his first five disciples.

On this auspicious day of Diwali and in the coming New year may you all be blessed with success, prosperity and happiness…

Divali ki shubhkamnayen.

 
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“A Guit Your” – “Shana Tova”

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2013 by designldg

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
(From “A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches” by Martin Luther King Jr.)

Amazing symbols gathered all together on a huge bowl in the gardens of the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum in New Delhi.
With “Om” everything begins, it is a mantra and mystical Sanskrit sound of Hindu origin sacred and important in various Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Like Ganesha who is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, he is the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom, the god of beginnings and therefore he is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies.
Then the hexagram which has deep significance in most of the Dharmic and Abrahamic religions.
In Christianity it is often called the star of creation, while it is known as Najmat Dāwūd (Star of David) or Khātem Sulaymān (Seal of Solomon) in Islam and becomes the Magen David when it is recognized as the symbol of Judaism.

In many ways this picture unites us all and allows me to wish everyone, whatever your faith is, “A Guit Your”, “Shana Tova” or, in other words, a Happy New Year.
It is easier to love than to hate, and as we are at the edge of a new conflict I truly want peace to prevail.
May this year be peaceful for all of us…

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A Splash Of Orange Spiritual Vibrations

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2013 by designldg

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“Orange strengthens your emotional body, encouraging a general feeling of joy, well-being, and cheerfulness.”
(“The First Element: Secrets to Maximizing Your Energy” by Tae Yun Kim)

There was a game of lights and shadows on a spectrum of spiritual orange vibrations at the small Hanuman temple standing at the edge of Manikarnika Ghat in front of the Ganges in Varnasi (Benaras).
In Hinduism orange or saffron is the most sacred color representing the fire that burns all kind of impurities, this is the reason why this color symbolizes purity.
It also represents religious abstinence and it is the color of holy men and ascetics who have renounced the world.
Wearing orange symbolizes the quest for light.
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The etymology of Orange is interesting, the word comes from the Old French “orenge” (c.1300), the old term for the fruit “pomme d’orenge” coming from Medieval Latin “pomum de orenge”.
It also comes from the Sanskrit word “naranga-s” which means “orange tree” as the tree was probably coming from northern India.
Later it gave «naarangi» in Hindi, “narang” in Persian, “naranj” in Arabic and “naranja” in Spanish.
The name is also related to the places where the orange tree was exported.
The bitter Persian orange, grown widely in southern Europe after its introduction in Italy during the XI° but it was replaced by sweet oranges brought to the rest of Europe in the XV° from India by some Portuguese traders.
Portuguese, Spanish, Arab, and Dutch sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy.
On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the seeds of oranges, lemons and citrons to Haiti and the Caribbean.
I twas Introduced in Florida (along with lemons) in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and much later to Hawaii in 1792.
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Between Destruction and Creation

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by designldg

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“Without an understanding of myth or religion, without an understanding of the relationship between destruction and creation, death and rebirth, the individual suffers the mysteries of life as meaningless mayhem alone.”
(Marion Woodman – Canadian author, b.1928)

Manikarnika Kund is a sacred pond located next to Manikarnika Ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Each year in November it is dug out from the dirt which covers it up from the holy river floods of the rainy season.
This large rectangular structure, with surrounding steps is mythologically related to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
The Chakra-Pushkarini Kund or “Discus Lotus-Pond” is said to be so ancient that it was present before King Bhagiratha brought the Ganges to Varanasi and is supposed to have been dug by Lord Vishnu at the time of creation with his disc.
The word “Manikarnika” refers “Jeweled Earring” and this name was given because Lord Shiva’s earring fell into the well when it was a very large lake.
This historic place symbolizes creation, and the cremation ghat next to it is all about death, the hot ashes of the burnt bodies nearby makes one remember the inevitable destruction of everything in the world.
Many pilgrims take a bath here after performing the rituals of cremation. It is also said to be lucky for couples to take a bath together in this well.

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“Come, come…”

Posted in Hinduism, The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by designldg

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“Come, come, whoever you are.
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.”
(Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi, known as Jelaluddin Rumi – Persian Sufi Mystic poet, 1207–1273)

This lady came to perform a puja at Vatsyaraj ghat where there is a little temple along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
She was cleaning each item in copper used for this pupose, repeating gestures done by her elders in order to uphold traditions and culture…

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Discovering Yourself

Posted in Hinduism, The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by designldg

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“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.
What you’ll discover will be wonderful.
What you’ll discover is yourself.”
(Alan Alda – American actor, director and author, b. 1936)

At Nepali Ghat along the Ganges there is a stair-case behind a little door which leads to a Nepalese Temple known as Kathwala Temple.
It was built by the King of Nepal with a Nepalese architecture and surrounded by tamarind and pipal trees.
The workers who carved this temple came from Nepal with a special wood that termites do not eat.
This place dedicated to Lord Shiva allows to have an amazing view on Varanasi (benaras) and the sacred river.
The quietness there opens the rooms of consciousness and it becomes easy to discover yourself…

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The Final Mystery

Posted in Hinduism, The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by designldg

 

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“The final mystery is oneself.”
(Oscar Wilde – Irish poet and novelist, 1854-1900)

This is the door of the Nepalese Temple known as Kathwala Temple which is on the top of Nepali ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
This place dedicated to Lord Shiva is covered by an amazing wooden sculptures.
The door leads directly to the Lingam, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva.

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The Sanctuary’s Hidden Mysteries

Posted in Hinduism, The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by designldg

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“Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.”
(The Holy Bible – Daniel 9:17)

This is the sanctuary inside the Nepalese Temple known as Kathwala Temple which is on the top of Nepali ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).

The Lingam, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva, stands in the center of the shrine next to the Lord’s trishul (Trident, “three spear” in Sanskrit).
The Lingam symbolizes the male creative energy, of the power of fertility and strength and represents the phallus.
“Shiva as the undivided causal principle is worshiped in the linga.
His more manifest aspects are represented in anthropomorphic images.
All other deities are part of a multiplicity and are thus worshiped as images.”
(Karapatri, “Shri Shiva Tattva”, Siddhanta)

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Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2011 by designldg

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“Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabhaa.
Nirvighnam kuru mey deva
Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa..”
(O Lord with twisted trunk and massive appearance whose splendor is aqual to a million suns…
Please bless me such that I do not face any obstacles in any of my endeavors, anytime. )

Lord Ganesha is addressed through this mantra, popularly known as the vakratunda mantra.
Ganesha can be viewed as a symbol of that energy which can help us overcome the obstacles in our path to spiritual growth and enlightenment.
The chanting of mantras is believed to invoke a connection to the particular energy associated with the deity that is being addressed by the mantra.
Ganesha is the ruler of the mooladhara chakra, located at the base of the spine, and is also known as the root chakra.
Hence, “Ganesha is invoked as the starting point of the ascent to awareness, as the one who causes that energy to rise up, which leads the seeker to a union with the divine”.

Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival starts today, it is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
This is a picture of a clay Ganesha murti worshipped during this festival and which normaly goes to the holy waters of the Ganges, however this one never leaves me since a few years…

May Lord Ganesha bestow success, happiness and prosperity upon you all.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi 2011…!!!

Unseen Forces

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2011 by designldg

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“No ashes are lighter than those of incense, and few things burn out sooner.”
(Walter Savage Landor – English writer and poet, 1775-1864)

 

This Holy man was burning incense sticks, as a gesture to Agni, the God of Fire, while facing the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
For the sadhu the world is alive with unseen forces that must be continually propitiated with offerings and cleansing rituals.
Their sacred fireplaces, known as dhuni, perform the same function as incense, on a larger scale, which is to transform matter into aether.
Burning incense is thus a reminder, of the sacred power of fire to transform, and the ultimate journey of all physical matter towards spirit.
For most Indians, incense remains an important part of the daily puja ritual, which is a religious offering performed by all Hindus to their deities, especially during the beginning of a new venture, or to commemorate some special occasion.
The aspect of the ritual known as Dhupa involves the offering of incense before the picture of a deity, as a token of respect.

 

Indian incense-making involves a wide variety of ingredients.
In accordance with Ayurvedic principles, all the ingredients that go into incense-making are categorized into five classes:
1. Ether (fruits) – examples: Star anise
2. Water (stems and branches) – examples: Sandalwood, Aloeswood, Cedarwood, Cassia, Frankincense, Myrrh, Borneol
3. Earth (roots) – examples: Turmeric, Vetivert, Ginger, Costus root, Valerian, Indian Spikenard
4. Fire (flowers) – examples: Clove
5. Air (leaves) – examples: Patchouli